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5 Tips for Perfect Pasta

June 12, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Minneapolis/St. Paul 0 Comments

5 Tips for Perfect Pasta

There is nothing more comforting than coming home to a well prepared pasta dinner. As any chef in the Minnesota culinary world can tell you, the key to a great pasta dish is a perfectly prepared noodle. Here are 5 culinary art tips for making perfect pasta in your own home every time.

1. Always use a large pot with lots of water
When picking a pot, always use one much larger than you think you might need. This will give the pasta plenty of room, preventing sticking and uneven cooking. Fill your pot with lots of cold water, a good guideline is 1-1 ½  quarts for every ¼ lb of pasta used, you want to be sure to have enough to completely cover the pasta.

2. Bring water to a fast boil and add salt before adding pasta
When your water reaches a full boil, add 2tbs of salt this will help bring out the full flavor of your pasta. Two tablespoons may seem like a lot of salt but most of it will be drained out once your pasta is done. Now that your water is boiling add the pasta, waiting for a boil will prevent sogginess and give your pasta a better texture.

3. Stir Pasta right away
As soon as your noodles hit the water, stir them with a large wooden spoon to prevent them from clumping together or sticking to the bottom of your pot. Keep the temperature on high until the water returns to a boil and then reduce heat a little so that it continues to boil but doesn’t overflow. Leaving your pot uncovered, continue stirring every two to three minutes until pasta is done.

4. Check your cooking time
Since cooking times vary depending on the size and shape of your pasta, always check the instructions on the box. At the minimum suggested time remove a piece of pasta and taste, running under cold water first to prevent burning your mouth. For al dente, the pasta should be tender but firm. If it is at all crunchy, keep boiling checking once a minute until the desired texture is reached.

5. Remove from heat and drain immediately
While your pasta is cooking set up a colander in the sink this way when your pasta is ready you are able to quickly remove it from heat and pour out the boiling water. Shake the colander to remove excess water. Never rinse your pasta, the coating of starch on each noodle will help your sauce stick. The only exception to this rule would be if you are preparing a cold dish such as pasta salad. Now your pasta is ready, always try to serve immediately as pasta will begin to cool down quickly.
Making pasta is an easy way to prepare a home cooked meal for yourself and your family while enjoying all the fun that the culinary arts have to offer. If you follow these 5 easy steps you are guaranteed to have a perfectly prepared dinner in no time. If you think you would like to learn more about Minnesota culinary techniques perhaps a culinary arts education would be a great fit for you.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis/St. Paul offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Minneapolis-St-Paul for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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